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Automated Banking Fraud Tool Discovered

Ever since online banking was introduced, banks and security providers are keeping a close eye on how the hackers find a way to access these accounts. Key-loggers, trace mails, spyware, malware, viruses, etc were the common tools used by miscreants to gain access. Leading anti-virus companies came up with ways to tackle all these. Although the security measures did not ensure 100% safety, a semblance of safety was established.

Recently, hackers have found a new way of hacking into online accounts: enter the ATS (automatic transfer system) tool. This tool will get installed on your computer without your knowledge and make transfers automatically to the miscreants’ account.

How ATS Hacks Your Online Banking Account?

Before this novel hacking method was developed, hackers used to access your account with your login credentials, which means the login IP and node could be traced. This tool however is activated when you login to your online bank account. Till then it remains dormant, thus evading the anti-virus scans.

When you access your online bank account, the tool will automatically perform online transfers to other accounts within the bank. Since you have logged in, the online account administrators will not sense a threat and assume that you are the one making the transfers.

If you think you might identify this when you are logged in, you are wrong. The tool will also modify your account statements in a way such that the transfer performed by the tool is non-existent. You will only see the transactions you have performed. This way, you will not suspect any foul play until you check the balance another time or visit the bank. But it will be too late by then.

How Your Computer can Be Infected by the ATS

Your computer is infected by the ATS tool through the same way a virus, spyware or a malware  enters your computer. It can be hidden in emails that you open, get downloaded without your knowledge and remain hidden on your system. It can also be attached to files downloaded from illegitimate sites, pornographic sites and even compromised legitimate sites.

The advantage these files have is that they do not show typical behavior pattern of malicious software. So, your anti-virus or internet security has no way of guessing that it is a potentially dangerous software. It also remains dormant at all times and is activated only when you access an online bank account.

The ATS tool can also be hidden in software with no digital signature. Imagine you are downloading some software to convert the file format of your audio files and download some random software from the internet. The ATS tool can be easily hidden in that software. When you unpack the software package, the ATS tool is also extracted onto your computer.

How to Safeguard Against the ATS Tool?

The first and the foremost thing that you should keep in mind, is to never even enter illegitimate or potentially dangerous sites. There will be no way of judging if your computer is infected or not. So, prevention is always better than cure. Never install any software which doesn’t have a digital signature. All legal software is required to have a digital signature.

Make periodic visits to the bank, preferably once a week, to access your bank account details personally. That way, the account details cannot be modified and the real details will be available for you to see. Also, avoid interaction with unknown people on social networking sites. Hackers use fake identities and anonymous social media  accounts to lure unsuspecting people and redirect them to ATS tool infected pages.

In Case You Are Victimized

Report the incident to the bank and law enforcement authorities immediately. Also ensure that if any further funds are left in that account, you either withdraw them or move them to another account immediately.

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